Do you think India start as favourites for the second bout against Pakistan tomorrow at the ring of fire in the Super 4 of the Asia Cup? The fans got their first wish of getting to witness one more game after the thriller last Sunday where India won thanks to Hardik Pandya’s heroics. The question now on every fans mind be it India or Pakistan is does India have an edge against Pakistan tomorrow?
To be very honest, till last year before Pakistan beat India by ten wickets India had the wood against Pakistan. But it seemed to have changed after that big win for Pakistan and India found that out in the first game where Pakistan challenged India inspite of scoring a below par score of 147 and stretched the game till the last over. India did well when they bowled and did not allow any of the Pakistan batsman to get away till Shahnawaz Dahani scored a brisk 20 in the end hitting two sixes and a four to propel the score to 147. And when they came on to bowl, Dahani, Naseem Shah and Harris Rauf along with their spinners Shadab Khan and Mohammed Nawaz bowled according to the demand of the conditions and made India fight for every run. The only mistake or blip was their over rate which ended in a penalty where they had to keep only four players instead of five and Pandya exploited it well by hitting Rauf for three boundaries which almost sealed the game.
Both teams India and Pakistan batting was a worry before their batsman got some runs against Hong Kong but we need to see how the batsman can get some runs against top quality bowling which will test the likes of Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav as well as Fakkar Zaman and Mohammed Rizwan who got useless batting time in the middle against Hong Kong.
With KL Rahul still not able to get in his groove and Rohit Sharma not getting big runs, India’s top order will be tested once again on a challenging pitch. Babar Azam will hope he gets going as he is one whom the batting of Pakistan plays around. With Dahani injured and ruled out the responsibility will fall on youngster Mohammed Hasnain.
Teams who have won the toss have been putting the opposition in as batting second is definitely an advantage. We need to see if India lose the toss how do they go about setting a target. They had spoken about playing an aggressive brand of cricket but in the two games so far they have been circumspect and keeping wickets in hand is the way to go and I believe the right way. Will India change their style and attack if they bat first? And what score would be good enough to defend? We shall get all the answers tomorrow evening but all the fans will be hoping that they get another thriller like Sunday which makes India and Pakistan games so special and watched by billions of people on TV and the stadium is packed to the core.